Sunday, August 30, 2009

Midnighters: The Secret Hour

Nobody is safe in the secret hour.

Strange things happen at midnight in the town of Bixby, Oklahoma.

Time freezes.

Nobody moves.

For one secret hour each night, the town belongs to the dark creatures that haunt the shadows. Only a small group of people know about the secret hour -- only they are free to move about the midnight time.

These people call themselves Midnighters. Each one has a different power that is strongest at midnight: Seer, Mindcaster, Acrobat, Polymath. For years the Midnighters and the dark creatures have shared the secret hour, uneasily avoiding one another. All that changes when the new girl with an unmistakable midnight aura appears at Bixby High School.

Jessica Day is not an outsider like the other Midnighters. She acts perfectly normal in every way. But it soon becomes clear that the dark creatures sense a hidden power in Jessica . . . and they're determined to stop her before she can use it.


Nathan says 5 stars...

Scott Westerfield has a knack for the original. The world of the Midnighters is highly unique, and yet totally believable. I'm sure most of us have occasionally wished for another hour during the day-well now we learn what would happen if we did. In Bixby a world full of dark creatures and strange powers opens itself to those few born at the stroke of midnight. This is the world that Jessica comes into from the realms of the normal. Then she discovers the Secret Hour, and her life is changed forever. She now must face the dark creatures, and find her place within this enchanted and dangerous hour. My favorite part of this book is definitely the originality of the characters. They are interesting and fresh, without feeling forced. The characters fit perfectly into Westerfield's engaging story seamlessly. Overall, The Secret Hour is a work of realistic fantasy that should be read by everyone.

P.S.-Hey everyone! Beth and I are pretty well-settled at this point, and we're going to get back into some posting schedule. If you'll bear with us, we'd so appreciated us. Thanks for being awesome!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I'm back, and I'm writing my first blog post from my first dorm room from my first university from my...I think you get the point. There have been a lot of first recently, but fortunately I have the comfort of in BetweeN the pages to go back to, so thank you. Beth is moving-in officially tomorrow, so she may also be hectic for the next few days, but don't worry, I'll take care of you. So, without further ado, the important part.

Acclaimed authors Holly Black (Ironside)and Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof) have united in geekdom to edit short stories from some of the best selling and most promising geeks in young adult literature: M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr.

With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley, Geektastic covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. Whether you're a former, current, or future geek, or if you just want to get in touch with your inner geek, Geektastic will help you get your geek on!
Nathan says 5 stars...
This collection of stories is absolutely amazing. When I originally heard about this anthology, I seriously yelled. The contributors to this list are among the elite of the YA world. The shiny glowing stars of our inky galaxy. I'm not going to review all of the stories individually, but I will hit on major points. Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci's opener is brilliant and hilarious. The wittiness is astounding. Garth Nix was not up to his normal standard. I still really loved the story, it just lacked the depth that makes Nix so wonderful. Libba Bray's contribution was lovely and captured the sense of friendship many nerds share. My favorite story though is by David Levithan; it's called "Quiz Bowl Antichrist." The sense of realism and the style of the story are super-fantastically-amazing. On that made-up note, I'm going to leave you with the advice to enter into our contest to win the book, or pick it up in a

Beth says 5 Stars...
What's not to love about a story collection with the title of Geektastic? I absolutely adored this book. The only problem was that it made me feel not geeky enough. To remedy the situation I decided to start watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and will be eternally grateful for that. There were so many stories that touched so many different areas of geekdom. One of my favorites involved a cheerleader and her interactions with the school geeks. I also loved David Levithan's story. It was so funny and different. Libba Bray's story was fantastic, but it got The Time Warp stuck in my head for the next two hours. That was really the only downside to that one. I of course loved the story by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci. The premise was simply brilliant. There were a few stories that I didn't particularly enjoy, but they really were few and far between. I was dissappionted in Jonh Green's story; I thought that it would rock my white tube socks off and it didn't. Overall this is something that all geeks should read, and make their non-geek friends read so that they can truly appreciate geekdom.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Curse Dark as Gold

A spellbinding fairy tale, spun with mystery and shot through with romance

The gold thread shimmers in the fading light . . .

It promises Charlotte Miller a way out of debt, a chance to save her family's beloved woolen mill. It promises a future for her sister, livelihood for her townsfolk, security against her sinuous and grasping uncle. It might even promise what she didn't know she needed: lasting hope and true love.

But at what cost?

To get the thread, Charlotte must strike a bargain with its maker, the mysterious Jack Spinner. But the gleam of gold conjures a shadowy past -- secrets and bonds ensnaring generations of Millers. And Charlotte's mill, her family, her friends, her love . . . What do those matter to a powerful stranger who can spin straw into gold?

Beth says 5 Stars...
This book was incredibly striking. I loved the re-imagining of the classic tale. Bunce brought new life to Rumpelstiltskin without destroying the original. However, Bunce's tale was so spellbinding that I found myself forgetting the original story; it's that captivating. The setting at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution was absolutely perfect; the collisions between progress and tradition mirror and heighten the tension of the story. Charlotte was a perfect heroine because she was both strong and compassionate, but flawed like a real person. I adored the way that the magical elements wove their way into the seemingly ordinary life of the mill and it's workers. It was phenomenal. Nothing in the story seemed out of place. I also loved the way that Bunce wrote the relationships. Everything wasn't always rainbows and sprinkles. This novel was amazing and I was trapped in it's spell. The intricate layers and beautiful writing made this book a joy to read and I reccommend this to everyone.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Princess of the Midnight Ball

A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…
Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above. Captivating from start to finish, Jessica Day George’s take on the Grimms’ tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses demonstrates yet again her mastery at spinning something entirely fresh out of a story you thought you knew.

Beth says 5 Stars...
I'll admit that I'm a total sucker for retold fairy tales. They let me connect with my inner princess-obsessed 4 year old little girl. I'm particularly for a retelling of The 12 Dancing Princesses, which just so happens to be my favorite fairy tale ever. What George did was remarkable; she turned a light children's tale into a complex and riveting story for "grown ups". I loved the main characters Galen and Rose. Both were strong and independent, but they still remained vulnerable. I particularly enjoyed Galen's story. It made the book so much richer, and really made Galen more than just your average male fairy tale hero. I loved watching the relationship between Galen and Rose grow; their interactions were so perfect. All of the princesses were beautifully done; none were the same, but the sisterly relationships were captured perfectly. The additions of some darker elements really matured the book. The balance was perfect, because I could still sense the spirit of the original story without losing the new differences. Something else that I found astounding was the complexity of the novel. The book is really short, but at every moment I was immersed in George's vision. The richness of the world was created by a delicate blending of fantasy and reality. The combination of a war-torn country and magic created a unique setting. I was enchanted by this novel. It is a mature story about love, loss, and magic with princesses that is impossible to put down. This is what I love about a retelling. It brought my favorite childhood fairy tale to life and made me love it even more.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More Contest Fun!!!

Yes... We are giving away Geektastic! Thanks to our friends at Little, Brown we have not one, not two, but THREE copies of this amazing book to give out. Since we have so many copies we're going to do this contest a little differently. Two of the copies will be done by a random drawing, but the other will be given to the person who tells us their best geeky moment. Nathan and I will read all of them and then agree on the winner. So for entries:
+1 entry for submitting your story as a comment on this post.
+1 entry for tweeting about the contest and including a link in your tweet. If you tweet give us a link to your profile so we can check.

+2 entries for being or becoming a follower of in BetweeN the pages.
+2 entries for blogging about this contest or hosting a link in your sidebar. Give us the link for the blog for the extra entries.

It's come to our attention that Blogger is having some issues with the comment box. If for some reason you aren't able to comment, just send us an e-mail entitled Geektastic (or some other suitably geeky title) with the same information. Thanks for your patience.

As per the publisher's request this is for US and Canada only.

The contest ends August 27th so you all have two weeks.

May the Force be with you.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was Faerie royalty, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved New York City from a rampaging Faerie war band. When a terrifying encounter in Central Park sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful—but cut short. For they’ve been plunged into a game of Faerie deception and wavering allegiances in which the next move could topple a kingdom…or part them forever.

This week we're looking forward to Darklight by Lesley Livingston. Wondrous Strange was amazing, and this is the second book in the series. If it's as good as the first book, it will be fantastic. I have to know what happens with all of the characters and see deeper into the faerie world that Livingston has created.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Into the Wild + A Few Notes

We'd like to ask everybody's patience for the next couple of weeks (and for what's been happening now). Both of us will be moving into our schools, so things are really crazy and we might not get things posted as regularly as we'd like. Don't fear, though. Once we get settled everything will be back to normal. Nathan left today for a special program (because he's a special person) and cannot have his computer, and will be absent this entire week. He'd like me to say that he's looking forward to being back already. Thanks for being such great readers.

Happy Reading
Beth & Nathan

Now for the review...

Junior high is tough enough, even when your family is ordinary. And Julie Marchen's family is anything but ordinary: her brother is a talking cat, her grandmother is a bona fide witch, and her mother is Rapunzel. Yep, that Rapunzel -- long hair, tower, prince... Long ago, Rapunzel escaped the fairy tale with her fellow storybook characters to live in secret in our world. But Julie's world, our world, is about to change -- the fairy tale wants its characters back.

Now Julie must fight wicked witches, avoid glass slippers, fly griffins, and outwit magicians in order to rescue her mom and save her town from becoming a fairy tale kingdom

Beth says 5 Stars...
This book was adorable on so many levels. First of all, how can you not love something where a couple of the characters are Zel and Cindy, also known as Rapunzel and Cinderella? I particularly loved the fact that Zel ran a hair salon. This was a perfect blend of the real word and the world of fairy tales. I appreciated the fact that this wasn't just another retelling of one story (although I'm a sucker for those too), but that there were elements of so many different tales throughout the novel. Also, the whole concept of the Wild was fantastic. The fact that it is the place where all fairy tales reside and that it is able to control them is like nothing that I've ever read. I enjoyed seeing the characters as human; trapped against their will in stories they don't want. Even those who play evil roles may not me evil themselves; they could just be under the control of the Wild and not be able to stop themselves. This gave the characters remarkable depth, particularly those from fairy tales. Julie was a great heroine; flawed enough to be realistic, but capable of extraordinary things and sacrifices. There's a sequel to this book, and I can't wait to get my hands on it. This book was amazing, light with enough real substance to make it stick. This is for anyone who loves a twisted fairy tale.

Friday, August 7, 2009

You're a Winner!

Well one of you is, and it's...Cassie! Congratulations, we'll be contacting you soon. A huge thank you to everyone who entered. We'll be having another contest very soon, we may in fact start at the end of this week, so be on the lookout.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Music is in Sammy's blood. His grandfather was a jazz musician, and Sammy's indie rock band could be huge one day--if they don't self-destruct first. Winning the upcoming Battle of the Bands would justify all the band's compromises and reassure Sammy that his life's dream could become a reality. But practices are hard to schedule when Sammy's grandfather is sick and getting worse, his mother is too busy to help either of them, and his best friend may want to be his girlfriend.

When everything in Sammy's life seems to be headed for major catastrophe, will his music be enough to keep him together?

Yay WordNinjas! We know this one is far away, but just look at it! We're seriously waiting...intently. Whether it's Nathan's Regina Spektor or Beth's Josh Groban, we're always listening to music of some sort or another. Music is an escape-it's the aural version of books. It's story, and what bibliophile doesn't love a good story?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shine, Coconut Moon

Samar (aka Sam) considers herself just a regular teenage girl, even though she is Indian American. Her mother has kept her away from her old-fashioned, very strict family, and she never has identified with her Indian heritage. None of this has ever bothered her, aside from the fact that she longs for a large family like her best friend’s instead of just herself and her mom. One day, shortly after 9/11, a man wearing a turban shows up on her doorstep. He is her estranged uncle, and through him, Sam begins to realize how important being Indian American is to her identity.
Beth says 5 stars...
As some may have noticed, I tend to like fantasy and don't often read as much realistic fiction as I probably should. If all realistic fiction novels were this good, I would read it all the time. This book was stunning! As a general rule identity crisis/coming-of-age novels can get irritating, or at least I find them that way. This book managed to escape that and be original and powerful. The setting is right after 9/11, and it served to increase the incredible potency. Sam struggles with her culture, especially with what she doesn't know about it. Despite being told that she isn't different, she is. Sam has to deal with her own conflicts about who she is and what family should be, I loved that for the most part. Sam faced her problems instead of just sulking and becoming too agstly. The way the book addressed steoerotypes and prejudices that Sam and her family faced. This novel was beautiful in its realsim and once more opened my eyest to the intolerance of many Americans. This is a book that should be read.